|August 21, 2003|
MAPS' first action alert, in partnership with the Drug Policy Alliance: Unshackle Medical Marijuana Research!
Urge Dr. Andrea Barthwell at the drug czar's office to unshackle governmental control on medical marijuana production and research by approving the UMass Amherst application for a license to produce marijuana for federally-approved research. Help end the monopoly on supply which is an intentional obstacle to research and FDA-approval.
E-mail a letter to Dr. Andrea Barthwell (sample letter included)
HELP UNSHACKLE MEDICAL MARIJUANA NOW
Take Action: http://actioncenter.drugpolicy.org/ctt.asp?u=8590&l=4023
One of the drug warriors' favorite arguments against state medical marijuanalaws and initiatives is that the medical use of marijuana has not been approvedby the FDA and that more scientific research must be conducted. What they don'tsay is that marijuana is treated differently than all other drugs.
The federal government, through the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA),retains a monopoly on the supply of marijuana that can be used in FDA-approvedresearch and has twice refuse to supply it to privately-funded FDA-approvedstudies. Over two years ago the Medicinal Plant Program at UMass Amherstapplied for a license to produce marijuana for research purposes only to begiven the run around by the DEA. Finally, in July this year the DEA officiallyannounced the program's application. A decision is expected shortly after theend of the public comment period on September 22, 2003.
The DEA has indicated that it probably won't approve the application so we have to act now to stop the cycle keeping medical marijuana from sick and dying patients.
Fax Dr. Andrea Barthwell, Deputy Director for Demand Reduction, Office of National Drug Control Policy, urging her to recommend that the DEA approve the UMass license: http://actioncenter.drugpolicy.org/ctt.asp?u=8590&l=4023.
As a doctor and senior member of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Barthwell holds authority over this issue. Through news articles she has become a vocal part of the Drug Czar's campaign against medical marijuana. Her most recent article explicitly says that "If a substance has the proven capacity to serve a medical purpose, then it will be accepted." Yet, Dr Barthwell, along with the Drug Czar, continues to support the governmental stranglehold on marijuana production hindering such research. See Dr. Barthwell's article here: http://actioncenter.drugpolicy.org/ctt.asp?u=8590&l=4024
NIDA produces only low-potency material with stems included meaning thatpatients have to inhale more smoke to get any of the beneficial effects,decreasing the chance FDA will approve it. The UMass team wants to produce asmall quantity of high-potency marijuana. As long as NIDA retains its monopolyon the supply of marijuana that can be used in research, no rational sponsorwill invest money in the research required to get marijuana approved as amedicine. Your help is needed to break the government's monopoly on the supplyof marijuana in order to unshackle medical marijuana research.
Fax Dr. Andrea Barthwell, Deputy Director for Demand Reduction, Office of National Drug Control Policy, urging her to recommend that the DEA approve the UMass license: http://actioncenter.drugpolicy.org/ctt.asp?u=8590&l=4023 or contact her via e-mail.
Address: Dr. Andrea Barthwell, Deputy Director for Demand Reduction, ONDCP, Executive Office of the President, Washington, DC 20503
Fax: 202-395-6744 (her ONDCP office fax) or 301-519-5212 (Drug Policy Information Clearinghouse, will forward faxes)